Good morning, Broncos Country!
Let’s change things up and focus on a positive.
Yes, the Denver Broncos are on the cusp of their fourth-straight losing season. And there is still a huge question mark at quarterback.
What is not up for debate is how good the Broncos defense has been this season. On the MHR Radio Podcast, both Adam Malnati and I are blown away. When you consider the rash of injuries the unit has had since before the season even started, it makes this 2020 showing even more remarkable.
The most recent evidence of all of this is what the Broncos did against the Kansas City Chiefs. They held Patrick Mahomes to his second-fewest point total (22) since he became a starting quarterback. Denver also held the Chiefs to 3-for-10 on third down and 0-for-4 in the red zone.
In terms of defensive stats, the latter one is the most important. And since the start of the 2019 season, no defense has been better in the red zone than the Broncos. Per the organization’s weekly release, Denver is allowing a touchdown on only 39 of 90 opponent trips (43.3%) into the red zone. The release adds that after leading the league in red zone defense in 2019, the Broncos are second in the league defensively this season (21-of-44 for 47.7%).
Now imagine what this defense would look like with Von Miller opposite Bradley Chubb and Malik Reed. Or a Jurrell Casey and Mike Purcell to aid Shelby Harris (pay that man his money).
In that Kansas City game in particular, rookie Michael Ojemudia played a pretty dang good game and even got a shout out from Vic Fangio this week.
One area Denver’s defense could get better at is takeaways. That’s the other key stat in my estimation when it comes to defense. But given how bad the Broncos offense is this season, dead last in the NFL with 28 turnovers, it wouldn’t matter much.
The point of this isn’t to wash over the fact the Broncos are on the verge of a fourth-straight losing season. Or to say that this is somehow acceptable. It is to point out that the play of the defense has been rather incredible this season given the circumstances.
And to say that it can get even better.
Here’s hoping Denver can figure out the quarterback position at some point.
Each Saturday, I do a segment on Denver radio station ESPN 1600 AM. This week, we discuss whether the Broncos are a quarterback away from competing. If Denver had competent QB play, is it a winning team? I also give my analysis and prediction.
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